Risk is inherent in the modern world. As a community, we need to take risks to grow and develop. However, while doing so, it is imperative to manage these risks in order to minimize their threats and maximize their potential.
Enterprise Risk Management involves advanced focuses on identifying, assessing, and preparing for any potential hazards, crises, uncertainties, or setbacks that could impact the long-term objectives and goals of a company.
Traditional risk management involves a one-dimensional analysis that focuses on mitigating primary hazards through insurances and diversifications. In the past, this deep focus on financial risk was deemed sufficient, whereas recent global events, like collapses of industry titans, have made it clear that a more holistic approach to understand risk is required. Enterprise Risk Management, on the other hand, is an integrated and joined-up approach to managing risk across an entity and its extended networks.
In order to enter the field of risk management, certain essential traits are required. The ability to relate seemingly unrelated events is crucial, as well as an intuitive and analytic mindset to discover and foresee hidden details. Complex problem solving, a decisive attitude, composure to work under pressure, and the diplomacy to handle several stakeholders together will ensure a lucrative career in this field, as these skills are what differentiate a risk professional from others.
Currently, enterprise risk management is a $3.7 billion industry and it is only expected to grow from here on out. Experts forecast it to expand to a $5.8 billion industry by 2027. According to the former chairman of the Spencer Educational Foundation, which funds risk management and insurance education: “Millions of jobs over the next 10 years are going to be open.” Recently, the demand for risk professionals has shot up as major firms like Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, etc. have increased their employment of risk professionals.

Currently, only 80 specialized university programs exist in the USA for risk management as compared to 5,000 accounting programs. A select few top colleges like Columbia and NYU do indeed offer a master’s degree in this field and it would be wise to consider these, yet it is not essential. Industry experts believe that a risk professional could be a generalist with a CA degree or a specialist who could be a sales and marketing graduate, MBA graduate, or even an R&D professional.
On the other hand, globally renowned organizations offer professional qualifications in this field. Anyone who has completed their basic high school education (12th grade) would be eligible for this unique career trajectory. These qualifications offer an alternative to the traditional system of college and directly allow an individual to learn about the industry through detailed courses in the various levels of study along. The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) headquartered in the United Kingdom and present across 143 countries, is the world’s premier professional body for enterprise risk management qualifications. IRM offers various qualifications with the most prominent being the 5-level enterprise risk management qualification that instills a detailed understanding of the industry. IRM alumni across 143 countries come from various backgrounds- leadership, risk heads, startups, family businesses, entrepreneurs, etc. IRM Alumni have also gone on to work in some of the largest MNCs as heads of various departments, diversified the which highlights the universal and transferrable nature of these skills.
The bottom-line: risk management is rapidly growing with the demand outweighing the current supply – the best way to get involved is through professional qualifications by recognized professional bodies/organizations as an alternative to costly university courses of similar quality.
-Siddharth Makharia, Dhirubhai Ambani International School & Student Risk Committee Member, IRM India

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